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Exercise Rocks! June 4, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Exercise & Fitness, Health & Wellness.
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32 comments

250px-Scottish_hammer_throw_illustrationExercise releases endorphins and elevates mood.

It improves our fitness and sense of well-being.

It makes us happy.

Exercise ups our energy level, increases our metabolism, and regulates our appetite.

It normalizes melatonin production and enhances the sleep cycle.

It resets the limbic system, and releases pent up stress and anxiety.

Even if we’re not tossing rocks, exercise rocks!

It’s the fountain of youth.

Get moving!

Aah . . . that’s better!

Work Out Without Working Up A Sweat May 2, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Exercise & Fitness, Fun & Games, Health & Wellness.
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23 comments

In 7 Ways Water Workouts Work Wonders, we touched upon the many benefits of staying cool while working out and getting fit.

Water exercise, or aquatics, is a terrific non-impact fitness tool.  Almost everyone can benefit from joining an aquatics class, including pregnant women, out of shape folks, the elderly, and patients recovering from injuries or certain surgeries.

* Water’s buoyancy reduces your “weight” by 90%, resulting in less stress on weight-bearing joints, bones, and muscles.

* You’re less likely to have sore muscles after working out in water, which makes it perfect for folks with arthritis, back problems, knee problems, or motivational problems.

* Water exercise, done right, encompasses all fitness components:  cardio-vascular, endurance, strength training, flexibility, and body fat reduction.

* The water’s resistance offers an excellent opportunity to strength train without using  weights.

To create additional resistance, cup your hands and pull or push the water away from you, or just run in place.

* Because of the water’s support, you can perform stretches that would be difficult (or impossible) on land.  As a result, you can move your joints through a wider range of motion and achieve greater levels of fitness and flexibility in and out of the pool.

Being in the water is calming and energizing at the same time.  Instead of creaking and groaning on land, you move with the ease and grace of a kid.

And, if you stay in the shallow end of the pool, you don’t even need to know how to swim!

Aah . . . that’s better!

7 Ways Water Workouts Work Wonders May 1, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Exercise & Fitness, Fun & Games, Health & Wellness.
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36 comments

For people with arthritis, hip injuries, or other joint maladies, working out on land can be incredibly painful, if not impossible.   Of course, not exercising can cause those conditions to worsen over time.

If you’re caught between a rock and a hard place, consider a third option . . . water aerobics:

1.  Exercising in water improves muscle strength.   The water’s resistance makes movements harder than on land, resulting in faster development of muscle strength, endurance and flexibility.

2.  Participants can control movements more easily using the water’s buoyancy to distribute the weight load, improve their balance, and reduce the impact on tender joints.

3.  Pool exercise speeds recovery after injuries or knee-replacement surgery since the buoyancy allows for full range of motion with less risk of injury.

4.  Water pressure compresses the chest, lowering the heart rate and helping blood circulate more efficiently.

5.  In a cool pool, participants can exercise longer and more comfortably.

6.  Water workouts may also improve mood and mental health.  Being in water encourages a more positive outlook, which speeds recovery from both illness and accidents.

7.  Warm water relaxes muscles, eases tension, reduces stress, and lessens mental fatigue.  It may also promote chemical changes in the brain which maintain critical thinking and memory skills.

Well?  What are you waiting for?

Dive in!

Aah . . . that’s better!

For more on Water Aerobics:  Aquatic Fitness (AARP)

Or watch this video on smooth underwater moves from WaterGym.com

Related posts:  Beginner’s Yoga 1~2~3 * 10 Happiness Boosters * 13 Tips to Stay Healthy & Happy

Need more inspiration?  Check out the Fitness-Photo Challenge on As My Camera Sees It and join the 12 week Fitness Challenge.

21 Ways To Improve Life Balance April 29, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Exercise & Fitness, Health & Wellness, Life Balance.
Tags: , , , ,
35 comments

1.  Nurture your body, mind, and spirit.

2.  Exercise is the fountain of youth.  Regular exercise increases metabolism, regulates appetite, improves mood, enhances sleep, and increases energy.

Need some inspiration?  Check out the Fitness-Photo Challenge on As My Camera Sees It and join the 12-week Fitness Challenge.

3.  Get enough rest.  Go to bed and get up on time so you can start the day unrushed.  Take time each day to relax and unwind.

4.  Simplify and unclutter your life.  Less is more.

5.  “Just Say No” to volunteer requests that don’t fit into your schedule or will compromise your sanity.

You are not the general manager of the universe.  Delegate tasks to others.

6.  Slow down.  Allocate enough time for tasks.  Pace yourself.  Tackle major life  changes and challenging projects in “small bites.”  Don’t dump everything into your wheelbarrow at once.

7.  Get organized so everything has its place, with backups for emergencies ~ an extra car key in your wallet or an extra house key hidden in the garden.

8.  Separate idle worries from realistic concerns.  If a situation concerns you, consider what you can do to resolve it.  If you can’t do anything, let go of the churning anxiety.  Keep breathing.

9.  Take things one day at a time.  Don’t worry today about what might happen tomorrow.  If it never happens, you’ll have worried for nothing.  If it does happen, you’ll end up worrying twice.

Worrying is interest paid on a debt we may not owe.

10.  Live within your budget.  Don’t use credit cards for ordinary day-to-day purchases unless you pay off the bill each month.

11. Talk less, listen more.  Learning to K.Y.M.S. (Keep Your Mouth Shut) can prevent an enormous amount of hassle.

12. Do something for the Kid in You everyday.  Build a library of wonderful memories.

13.  Bring a book to read while waiting in line.  Listen to books on tape or uplifting music while driving.  Or use waiting time for mindful meditation or creative visualization.

Waiting time does not have to be wasted time.

14.  Write down thoughts and inspirations.  Keep a folder of favorite quotes on hand.  Make time every day for a few minutes of quiet reflection.

15.  Having problems?  Try to nip small problems in the bud. Don’t wait until you’re in bed to worry about them.

16.  Remember that the shortest bridge between despair and hope is often just a smile away.

17. Laugh.  Laugh some more!

18.  Be mindful.  Use all five senses.  Notice the blue sky. Listen to uplifting music. Inhale pleasant scents, aromas, and fragrances.  Savor delicious tastes.  Give someone a hug.

19.  Take your work seriously, but yourself not at all.  Sit on your ego.

20. Develop a forgiving attitude.  Be kind to unkind people; they need it the most.  Hanging on to anger and stale grievances doesn’t hurt them, it hurts you.

21. Be grateful for small blessings.  Before going to sleep, think of one thing you’re grateful for that you’ve never been grateful for before.  When we look for the best in life, we see it.  Gratitude magnifies the good.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Related posts:  Simplify Your Life * Clearing Clutter * I Don’t Want Stuff Anymore, Only Things (Raptitude)

Playing The Blame Game March 16, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Health & Wellness, Humor, Mindfulness.
Tags: , , ,
32 comments

Broccoli-Mocking-StewieIt’s a shame when we insist on playing the blame game, because we proclaim ourselves as “victims.”

Much better to see our part in the process and maintain our autonomy and freedom of choice.

When we control our thoughts, we control our life.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Related posts:  Owning Up (Suzicate) * How to Get Out of Prison (Gems of Delight)

Walking The Streets Like Beggars February 13, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Gratitude, Happiness, Health & Wellness, Mindfulness.
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24 comments

Donald-Duck-LazyUnhappiness often arises from holding on to the past or worrying about the future.

Awareness has healing power.  

Simply watch your thoughts, relax, and allow them to drift away . . . as darkness gives way to light.

* You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection. ~ Buddha

Observe your breath and it will slow down.  Follow your breath.  Become calm and centered.  Allow your thoughts to settle down.

Measure your success by the degree of PEACE you feel.

IMGP2577c

* Do not wish to be anything but what you are, and try to be that perfectly. ~ St. Francis de Sales

If you are not happy, you have disconnected yourself from your true self.

* Many of us are millionaires walking the streets like beggars because we’ve forgotten we have untold wealth within.

To tap into pure being, follow your breath.  Let go of fear.  Step into love.

Aah . . . that’s better!

26 Things To Keep In Mind February 9, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Gratitude, Happiness, Health & Wellness, Mindfulness.
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32 comments

IMGP1472aHere are 26 Really Important Things to Keep in Mind while developing the habit of focusing on the positives:

1. Acceptance of the “what is”

2. Balance

3. Compassion

4. Delight

5. Enthusiasm

6. Forgiveness

7. Gratitude

8. Health & Wellness

9. Inspiration

IMGP2751b10. Joy

11. Kindness

12. Love

13. Mindfulness & Meditation

14. Nature

15. Observing the NOW as it is

16. Peace & Patience

17. Questioning (with alert curiosity)

18. Relaxation & Breathing

_0001c19. Stillness & Serenity

20. Tranquility

21. Uplifting thoughts

22. Visualization

23. Well-being

24. Xanadu

25. Your purpose & passion

26. Zen Wisdom

Aah . . . that’s better!

What would YOU add to the list?

“It is not enough to have a good mind. The main thing is to use it well.” ~ Rene Descartes

Related reading:  How To Be Happy Right Now (Gems of Delight)

Triple A To The Rescue! January 22, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Exercise & Fitness, Happiness, Health & Wellness.
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12 comments

Woodstock-&-SnoopyWhen your car breaks down, it’s Triple A to the rescue.  If your life bogs down, you can also turn to AAA for help:

Action Alleviates Anxiety

Sometimes a small change has a tremendous impact on our mental outlook:

* Exercise is a great stress buster.  Go for a brisk walk.  Boost your heart rate while lowering your stress and anxiety levels.

* Take the dog and/or kids to the park or playground.  Play tag, dodge ball, or monkey in the middle.  Get on with it.  Live Life Now.

* Offer to take nursing home residents in wheelchairs for outings around the neighborhood.  Walk dogs at the local shelter.  Volunteering two hours per week can reduce stress and provide other feel good benefits.

* Join a tai chi or yoga group in the park.  Meditative movements help melt anxiety.  Sunshine is a mood booster.

* Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff ~ Swap out one negative thought a day for a more positive thought.

* Catch up with friends.  Peel an orange.  Read a book.  Don’t let life slip through your fingers.  

* Be mindful.  Pay attention.  Awake and aware, we walk, pause, listen, reflect, know, and see the world anew ~ bright, fragrant, alive.

Life is a tapestry of textures.  Enjoy it!  Make your life come true.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Be Who You Want To Be September 10, 2013

Posted by nrhatch in Health & Wellness, Mindfulness, Nature, People.
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31 comments

3D-Ape

Who you are now is:

A.  The product of a lifetime of choices you’ve made.
B.  A habit, not a foregone conclusion.
C.  A manifestation of unconscious implicit memories.
D.  All of the above.

The answer is D ~ “All of the above.”

Who you are now is a collection of unconscious implicit memories developed over time as the result of choices you made and repeated so often that they became hard-wired habits.

If “who you are now is who you want to be,” take the day off to play while the rest of us roll up our sleeves to examine the roles we’ve been playing.

You can’t just tell yourself to stop.

No matter how tired you’ve become of being depressed, angry, anxious, impatient, or [insert other self-defeating behavior, emotion, or belief here], you can’t just tell yourself to stop.

You’ve already tried that and it didn’t work.

As soon as your conscious intention to “stop doing that!” slipped from the forefront of your thoughts . . . old habits crept back into the drivers seat.

Creating the intention to lose weight, write a novel, or laugh more often is not enough to create lasting change because your old wiring is still in place.

Don’t look now, but your old wiring is still firing.

If you erase a document from your hard-drive, it’s still there . . . lurking in the shadows . . . like a bad habit that won’t go away.

Instead of erasing an unwanted document, try replacing it. Character by character.  Or, in the case of unwanted habits, character trait by character trait.

To change, you MUST believe change is possible.

To make any headway, you MUST view yourself as a “work in progress,” not as a “done deal.”  If you don’t believe you can change, you can’t.  It’s that simple.

Your stubborn unwillingness to entertain the possibility of change will stall you in your tracks before you’ve built up any steam.

The confining nature of your belief is the perfect example of a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Donald-Duck-DrivingYou need a map to get from HERE to THERE.

Just as kitchens and baths can be remodeled, you can change “who you are” by re-wiring your brain.

The process starts like any remodeling project ~ with a set of blueprints that clearly depicts “who you want to be.”

Once you have a clear vision in mind, it’s a simple matter of knocking down walls (i.e., eliminating habits) that are not consistent with the more functional design you have visualized.

It’s OK to work backwards.

When visualizing your road map, it’s OK to work backwards, like Michelangelo did before carving David:

* Visualize who you want to be.
* Chisel away everything that doesn’t conform to that vision.

IMGP1858b

That’s it!  You’ve created a virtual masterpiece!

Aah . . . that’s better!

Tomorrow ~> Creating Self-Sustaining Change

* * * * *

Our brain, which controls virtually every aspect of our lives, is as amazing a piece of equipment as you are ever likely to encounter.

Reading this post is akin to reading the Cliff Notes for a beloved classic ~ you’ll get the gist of the plot-line and learn about a few of the major characters, but many delightful nuances and well-turned phrases are missing.

To learn more about our miraculous bundle of synaptic intelligence, consider reading Evolve Your Brain ~ The Science of Changing Your Mind, by Joe Dispenza.

Changing your mind will change your life.

Quote to Ponder:  We are what we repeatedly do.  Excellence, then, is not an action, but a habit.  ~ Aristotle

All That Mildews Is Not Mold July 9, 2013

Posted by nrhatch in Health & Wellness, Home & Garden, Humor.
Tags: , , , ,
22 comments

Poisoned AppleOne of my favorite product warning labels appeared on a spray bottle of Mildew Remover:

Use only in well-ventilated areas.

Seriously?

Just as rolling stones gather no moss, well-ventilated areas seldom attract mildew.

Stated another way . . . they’re selling a product that should only be used where it’s not needed and should never be used where it is needed.

Very helpful.

Aah . . . that’s better! 

Related articles:  Frugal Mold & Mildew Remover (white vinegar + water)

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